HELPFUL THINGS

Authenticity Manifesto

Sticking to the basics

Business is fundamentally about people making things and selling them to other people. Communication takes place between people.

We value keeping business communication “real” – remembering that it’s basically all about people providing other people with information they consider useful, so that the wheels of industry can run more efficiently.

This means communicating directly and informatively, in a way that’s both personal and fundamentally authentic.

Consistent and genuine

To be authentic, the ways an organisation thinks, acts and communicates have to be consistent, honest and genuine.

This involves a clear focus on what makes an organisation, its staff and its ideas distinctive, meaningful and useful for those concerned.

Adverse to adspeak

Adhering to the idea of authenticity also means avoiding pretence or distorting facts, and not promising anything a company or organisation can’t deliver.

This means foresaying smoke-and-mirrors effects, and not enshrouding messages in corporate gobbledegook, pseudo-smart jargon and flavour-of-the-month adspeak.

Clear information, better decisions

Our basic ethos is to give people clear, useful information and better understanding so they can make informed, responsible decisions – and help bring more honesty and authenticity into the world we share.

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Styles and standards

No more right or wrong

When writing modern English for international audiences, the days of unequivocal right-or-wrong are long gone. Words, spellings and usage are changing faster than ever.

 

Consistency counts

Whichever style or set of spelling and grammar conventions you may decide to use, the important thing is that readers can see the consistency.

If the way you use words isn’t consistent, professional readers can only conclude your organisation has no real idea what it’s doing communication-wise, and doesn’t have a quality assurance mindset.

 

A question of style

Cookie-cutter standardisation doesn’t help you get noticed, but correct doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Style is a decision you make.

 

Style reflects business ideas

Our basic take on style is that – ideally – it should reflect each organisation’s unique mindset and fundamental approach to doing business.

 

Word Design house style

This is why we’ve put together a carefully considered Word Design house style to make sure things like spelling, grammar, punctuation, abbreviations and italicisation in the work we deliver are visibly consistent.

This is the style we use unless you tell us otherwise. Or unless you’ve got the oomph to go for your own unique style.

Word Design style

Word Design house style

This is a set of professional guidelines we use to make sure correctness isn’t a question of individual preferences or personal taste.

The Word Design house style explains the spelling, grammar and punctuation rules we use in all the text we deliver – unless the customer or the context requires otherwise. It also tackles specific usage issues, but it’s not a rule book for content or tone.

Our house style is based on the latest edition of the English Style Guide from the European Commission. This is to ensure a widely accepted, relatively neutral style of English that steers clear of individual predilections, personal taste and cultural bias. We use it because the vast majority of our customers are neither British nor American – they’re European, and it’d be pointless trying to pretend otherwise.

 

Constant development

Our house style isn’t static – because the way modern English is used is changing and developing all the time.

That’s why we keep a sharp eye on the latest trends, and the conclusions drawn by authoritative reference works about language, style and current use.